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Crafting Should Be Kind

Crafting over the years has been a gateway for joy and tranquility for me, as well as a means to work through anxiety. This proves to be true for many makers around this earth. As a future art teacher, I may be biased when I say that we should respect one another for our differences in what and how we create.

I thought about bringing this up in a future channel chat and I may still reiterate it. In this digital era, we are blessed with so much technology as a means of interconnectedness and communication. Unfortunately, there are those who take this power to become what I call, Keyboard Warriors. *insert Karen meme here* Before I get into this, there is a huge difference in being constructively critical and just plain rude. I value constructive criticism, I’m an artist and a teacher to be so this is something I’ve faced for over half of my academic career. Not to mention, it allows for improvement where needed.

I realize there are miserable people everywhere on this earth and some choose to log on and spout their unheard discontent at anyone they think will listen. To each their own.

Alright. This time, the Reddit knitting community actually kinda came at me. I and many other crafters both small and large have been on this binge of crocheting or knitting our own facemasks. Some people sell theirs to make ends meet, some people can give them away (bless y’all!). I have found that small makers receive a lot of backlash for doing so.

As it stands in the country right now, many places are reopening/allowing people to enter premises only if the people wear face coverings. These range from medical grade masks to tshirt scraps, so long as the nose and mouth are covered.

I rarely ever post in this community and this may be my third time doing so. The first time I posted, I believe it was a tutorial and a few ladies took it upon themselves to harshly criticize how I knit. It’s been something I’ve been pretty self-conscious about ever since. It wasn’t even constructive, it was just full on rude knit-picking (pun intended). The next time I posted, it was a finished object, no biggie there.

But now you see I may have gone too far. Many of you may know that I’ve written a knitting pattern for my FAUX mask and I have also listed some inventory for ones that I’ve made up, they come with a 5-layer carbon filter. I don’t shamelessly plug my shop on Reddit, it’s kind of a no-no unless someone asks for that kinda thing. Anyhoo…

I posted a picture of one of my masks I made in neon stripes. I took the precaution of mentioning that I use a filter (and I do use either a filter or a medical mask, whichever is available, underneath my personal faux mask .) They did NOT like this. I had 7 people to upvote my post and someone even asked me about yarn recommendations for it. My title made no mention of me selling my masks or even the name of my item. I, perhaps foolishly, just wanted to share what I made. One redditor took it upon herself to speak on how/why she disliked it.

Now at first glance, that’s not so bad but, she was kinda rude about it, at least in my opinion. Because I use a version of my brand name on the platform, I responded very professionally, despite being taken aback by this comment. I won’t link to the post because that’d be… petty? I think that’s the word and by no means do I want to start a witch hunt.

There are bigger makers and even corporations releasing crochet and/or knit patterns for facemasks such as Yarnspirations, BonnieBayCrochet and many more. If you search YouTube, there is no short supply of tutorials and links. I feel like people who fall under the small maker category get a load more backlash from people because we seem more… reachable?

Overall, I think there is more positive feedback in the crochet community, constructive criticism included. I’ve always thought that I was biased toward crochet communities because the people tend to be a lot more kind, even if their opinion differs from your own. I appreciate that.

I’m not mentioning all this because I am hurt, I only want to remind everyone that a little tact can go a long way. If this had happened a few years back, I’d have been really hurt and I’m unashamed to say that because there are many crafters who take their crafting personal because of the mental like that it has to their therapy. Just because you can say something through a cold screen, just because it makes you look smart, that does not mean that you should just spew it all over the place.

I make what brings me joy and I always will. If you want to read my disclaimer on this project, feel free to do so, I don’t push it as medical grade.

Opinions! I’d love to hear them, remember we’re all human.

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